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Thread: Packing for my first dive trip. Pls Help

  1. #21
    Guppy Founding Member
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    I just though of an additional layer of protection to John's Idea.
    When you create an internet message (like this one) as it is traveling to the server e.g. scubatoys server, or your e-mail server, it is clear text.

    If you put the e-mail in the draft folder, it only travels to the server once, and most online e-mail accounts do that as a ssl encrypted connection. If you were sending it as an e-mail, after you securely typed it, it would unsecurely pass out to the internet from the outbound (SMTP) server to the inbound (POP IMAP or HTTP) server. Potentialy this could be sniffed.

  2. #22
    Grand Master Spammer Founding Member
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    Personally I scanned my passport, etc, and saved the files to a password-protected zip file with an obscure filename. I put that zip file up on my website, buried deep in a subfolder, so it would be highly unlikely anyone but me would ever be able to stumble across it.

    That said, with regard to doghouse's concern, when emailing a message to yourself, from yourself (same account), using a webmail account, the message never leaves the ISP's server infrastucture. When sending a message from your hotmail account, to your hotmail account, the weak link is getting the data from your computer up to the hotmail account in the first place (whether it's in the draft folder or not). Once it's there, since it's not going to an outside recipient, it never leaves hotmail's servers, and it is as safe as it's possible for a hotmail account to be.

    Lastly, while some online email accounts use SSL encryption, most of them only use it for the login portion of the session. After a successful login, it reverts to plain text.

  3. #23
    Guppy Founding Member
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    I just learned another interesting thing. I was tying to get the antibiotics incase we have a problem while down there. My personal doctor was not interested in helping, so I called one of the passport asistance companies. They had a list of doctors, and some had them on staff. I now have the scrit I was looking for.

  4. #24
    you should get a different doct, i had no problems telling the md where i was going and the concerns i had, instant script. but it also helps that i am an rn i guess!
    NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE
    A GOOD PLACE TO GO http://www.calypsodiversinc.com/

  5. #25
    Guppy Founding Member
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    Summary of the list so far:

    Thanks to everyone who helped out, what a great wealth of information:

    If you have a Hotmail or other e-mail that can be accessed via a browser, e-mail your passport number, traveller's cheque numbers and any other important info to yourself. That way if you need it and are separated from your stuff, you just have to find an internet connection to retreive it.

    Make sure you have a copy of your living will, and spousal Power of Attorney. You don't know what may happen, and this will give your partner some rights. Even though they may not be recognized by they country you are in, they show intent, which is almost as powerful.

    Most airlines limit is 50 lbs but check yours. Don't want to get hit with extra fees. I pack my reg and computer in my carry on.

    Make sure the bag is under 62 inches Lenght+Width+Depth.

    Make sure you remove all the lead from your BC (Including the trim weight, oops)
    Mark your equipment. You will be amazed how many people may have the same equipment that tends to all get piled up in a corner on the boat.

    Batteries, sunglasses, sun lotion, meds, sandles, small dry box....

    Tips are 5-10 a tank depending on the service.

    Safety whistle, mirror, safety sausage, and cutting implement like surgical shears. Mask defog gel. Don't know about Cancun, but in Coz generally NO knives, and NO gloves. (Yes Cancun has the same restriction)

    stack of $1 bills, passport, photocopy of passport hidden somewhere else (in case your original gets stolen). Phone numbers, addresses, and printouts for any reservations you have.

    The $1 bills are for hotel tips, taxi fares, and a bunch of other places where all you might have is a $20 and no one seems to have any change....... (this is very true, also make sure you know the exchange rate so you do not get cheated, much. Change is not exchangeable, don't bother bringing it!)

    Don't take your log book, you might lose it. Instead take some blank pages and put them in the log book when you get home.

    If you have an EMS store by you, they carry great dry bags that pack tiny and flat. They are useful on have on the boat to keep your tip money, hat, and other small stuff dry. Speaking of that, bring a baseball cap so you can actually see when you're out in the sun and so your face doesn't burn. I don't like to use sunblock before diving because it gets in my eyes, so the hat is a must. When you're out on the water, your lips tend to get dry (at least mine do), so bring some chapstick type stuff with spf in it. Jolly Ranchers will win you friends on the boat during the SI. I bring a small save a dive kit in a zip lock bag with o rings, a spare mask strap, a few zip ties, a couple of snorkel keeprs, and a double ender. Doesn't take up much room and seems to solve most things that come up. (some great points here!)

    I was tying to get the antibiotics incase we have a problem while down there. My personal doctor was not interested in helping, so I called one of the passport asistance companies. They had a list of doctors, and some had them on staff.

    When you put your Octo in the carry on, be ready for it to be opened. Put everything in there that they might question! Be prepared for the TSA agent at the Xray machine to not know what it is. I was checked every time!.

    Bring an extra computer battery, and the tools to change it. Save yourself a big problem later.

    Don't bother with the TSA locks, they cut them off anyway. (I am now out 4 locks. They made it to Mexico, but not back, all were lost in Atlanta.) Use zipties, and put extras with a note to pls re-ziptie.

    If some of your luggage is missing at first, wait around. They are very careful about checking the ownership of lugage before you leave the Cancun airport. My bag was missing for 15 min, then suddenly re-appeared. Nothing missing.

    Lastly, don't try to pet the dogs in the airport
    Last edited by Doghouse; 02-28-2008 at 08:11.

  6. #26
    Guppy clayton's Avatar
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    while in cancun check out isla mujeres as a possible day dive trip. isla has great dive sites and very nice people at aqua adventures dive on the island.

  7. #27
    TadPole
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    Don't forget your dive buddy. (She'll get real upset)

  8. #28
    TadPole
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    I always take my dive log. I've had one live-aboard ask to see it to show when I last dived and how much. I have read this is becoming a more common occurrance.

    Also take a copy of your dive insurance information. Some places require that you have it on file.

    I keep a copy of my passport, dive insurance and emergency notification information in my logbook.

    I've started taking a rash guard because when I'm on a trip, I will dive four or more times a day and the wetsuit begins to chafe after a while. It's also good for UV protection in the boat between dives.

    Electrical zip ties are also handy to have. It makes securing items to clips easy (but as someone pointed out in another thread, they can be easily broken if twisted). Braided cave line is also good.
    Brevity is the soul of wit. - Wm. Shakespeare


  9. #29
    One thing I always found useful is a padlock. Some resorts will provide you with your own locker. So to keep from getting your stuff stolen, or to avoid having to purchase a padlock from the diveshop. This was the case in Bonaire when we stayed at the Divi.

    Boston dive girl

  10. #30
    TadPole
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    Here are some suggestions I follow, some may have already been mentioned:

    Research your destination and make sure you get any vaccinations that may be recommended or required.

    Make copies of your travel documents (passport, health insurance cards front and back, credit cards front and back with 800 phone number, Dr information, emergency contacts, Embassy or Consular location and phone, dive insurance cards, airline information with confirmation #, copies of your airline e-ticket and hotel reservation information)... make 4 copies of all this, take 1 copy with you keep it in your carry-on during the trip. Leave 3 copies of this information with family or friends at home. I say 3 because in an emergency your odds are better of getting in touch with 1 of 3 rather than 1 of 1. Once you get to the resort, keep your copies and some emergency cash in your room safe. Hopefully you will not need any of it, but if you do you are prepared.

    Know where the local US Embassy or Consulate is located and their phone numbers both local and international, you can find this online with the Department of State. Department of State web page is also a good source for travel warnings or restrictions. I also like to register my trip online with the Department of State, so if something happens hopefully my government knows I am there.

    Contact your credit card company's fraud department and let them know your travel dates, location, and return date. This will prevent potential problems if you try to use your card while away (otherwise, for your protection, they may view card activity as fraudlent and freeze your card).

    If you don't already have some type of Dive Insurance, look into DAN or PADI. They are not expensive and if you need it, you will be glad you got it. Recompression chambers or emergency extraction can be big bucks.

    Know where the closest recompression chamber is located...it may not be as close as you think.

    $$ Matters: During transit, keep mostly small bills on you, singles and fives, maybe a couple twenties and tens. Use the small bills for tipping, snacks, airline headphones, taxis, etc. Keep the rest of your $$ divided up between your carry on and a secure pocket on your person. Keep some emergency cash on hand and DON'T TOUCH IT. Leave it in your room safe with your passport, copies of travel documents and 1 credit card with enough on it to cover a few extra nights emergency hotel stay and emergency airfare out of your destination. Don't bring large bills unless you know they will be accepted at your destination or can easily be broken. If you are going to exchange your $$ for local currency, be sure to know the exchange rate and exchange it at a reputiable location. If you get change in local currency, try to spend it on your next purchase...don't bother bringing it back..unless it will be a souviner. Many places automaticaly include 15% gratuity on your food and beverage check..BE SURE TO LOOK FOR IT...usually labled "Service Fee". If the service was very good, you can always add another 5% on. When leaving, don't forget about departure tax/fee. It's usually around $20-40 depending on where you are and typically must be paid before you check in at the airline counter, they will ask to see proof of paid departure tax/fee.

    Some dive destinations charge a marine park, or environmental fee, typically $25-30.

    I like to tip my housekeeping staff about $2/day...it ensures my room is always clean, fully stocked and "taken care of". This is not a must but I have found it a cheep investment to ensure my comfort.

    Don't forget to tip your dive crew...if you are diving with just one resort or dive op this is usually done at the end of the week...base your tip on how much service/help your dive crew provided you. $5/tank is usually standard, you can adjust it up or down depending on level of service. If they help you on and off with gear, set up your gear before first dive and between dives, it is customary to give more.

    If you take a taxi, most have flat rates to/from specific locations so be sure to ask BEFORE you get in. Get the price up front and if 2 or more people in the cab going to same place, ask about cost for additional people.

    Packing:

    The PADI web page offers an equipment checklist, print it out and use it. Customize the list to suit your needs.

    If you have standard "black" luggage, put something on it to make it stand out and easily identifiable to you. I have seen bright colored luggage straps, colored luggage name tags; colored ribbon on one of the handles is easy and cheep. Make sure your name and address are on each one of your bags...get good sturdy luggage name tags.

    Do NOT use luggage locks...even the ones sold as "TSA Approved" they just get cut off.

    Get a good paint marker and Sharpie and label all your gear, and I do mean ALL YOUR GEAR, down to the smallest item. You would be surprised how things get mixed up or "walk away".

    Pack your regs/computer/ gauges in your carry-on and don't let this bag leave your side...NOT FOR 1 SECOND !

    Some suggestions on gear: Don't overpack the gear....you don't need every little trinket and gadget you own. Make a list of the basics and check everything off as you put it in your bag. Then weigh your bag twice and know the weight restrictions for your particular airlines. Airlines will bang you at least $25 for being 1lb over the allowance.

    ALWAYS bring a safety whistle, surface signal, safety sausage, signal mirror. Attach a small knife to your BC and keep it sheathed. Some places say No Knives but you can usually get away with this one. Check online for restrictions about gloves, many places do not allow them, or allow them only for certain dive sites. This one is usually enforced.

    Basics: Mask, Fins, mask defog, booties for open heel fins, Snorkel, BC w/ weight pockets or weight belt, wetsuit or skin for abrasion & exposure protection. I dive in a full 3/2 wetsuit and bring a 1mm fullsuit even in 80+ degree waters. Regs/Computer/Octo. Bring a small dive light you can tuck into your BC pocket. If you plan on diving at night, bring a good primary light, and a marjer light. Either plan on purchasing batteries at your destination or be sure to bring them with you.

    Bring a hood even if you think you won't need it...it's easy to get chilled if you are making multiple dives or long dives. A beanie is a good choice, you can stuff it in a BC pocket and if you get chilled during a dive it's easy to put on without removing mask & regs. Looks dorky but can save a dive. Tropical weight is typically 1mm-3mm.

    Bring a "Save A Dive" kit...o-rings, fin straps, mask strap, snorkel keepers (they have many many uses), extra batteries for computer and any dive lights, small tub of silicone grease, different size zip-ties.

    Do Bring: a few different size band-aids, first-aid cream (neosporin, etc), sunblock lotion, lip balm with sunscreen, prescription meds and make sure they are clearly labeled, Pepto Bismal & Immodium both of which come in tablets so no more yucky liquid, tums and rolaids, sudafed or other decongestant allergy meds, a good hat (I like boonie style but any hat is better than none), sunglasses, a small backpack or other bag for dry clothes, towel, water and snacks to take aboard the boat. Sandles, or sneakers to wear on the boat. I also like to bring a warm watch cap style hat just in case I get chilled during a dive and need to warm up on the boat. Speaking from experience it is possible to get cold in 100 degree weather and the boat ride is miserable.

    Leave your dive log at home, unless it will serve as some source of information re: weighting, favorite or previously dived sites, dive sites you want to avoid, etc.

    Bring some gum or hard candy to cure the dry throat during your surface intervals.

    I like to bring a bunch of crystal light on-the-go lemonade packets. They are easy to pack and go great in a bottle of water.

    Pack a few snacks in your carry on..granola bars, power bars, etc. This is good if you have a lay over somewhere or meal on the plane is bad.

    Bring or purchase a small bottle of bug/insect repellant...you may just be glad you got it.

    DO NOT BRING YOUR WEIGHTS OR TANKS....Unless it is a small pony or Spare Air. If you bring a small pony or Spare Air be sure it is empty, and the valve is loose so it can be easily inspected if necessary. Some say you need to take the valve off the bottle but I don't like to risk the valve stem that goes into the cylinder getting bent. I have never had a problem with just loosening it.

    The TSA has just announced NO SPARE LITHIM BATTERIES IN CARRY-ON BAGS. ALL LITHIUM BATTERIES MUST BE INSTALLED ON ELECTRONIC DEVICES OR IN YOUR CHECKED BAG. THIS IS A NEW ANNOUNCMENT AS OF JAN '08. Check the TSA web page for detailed information.

    If you have dive computers stash the users manual in your carry on, if you have a problem at least you will have a reference source.

    When packing your regs in your carry-on, plan on having them inspected so make them accessible to TSA.

    Don't overpack your street wear...you won't need nearly as much as you think you will. The current issue of Caribbean Travel & Life magazine has an article on how to pack light including a suggested packing list.

    Last but most importantly relax and have fun. If you forget something, or lose something, don't let it ruin your trip...If nonessential gear forget about it or see if a buddy has a spare to loan you. If it is an essential piece of gear you can probably rent a replacement from your dive op...some dive ops may even loan it to you if you talk to the manager and tell them you lost your gear or left it behind.

    Good luck, enjoy your trip.

    Almost forgot, a pad lock is a great idea (I too stay at the Divi on Bonaire), I like the combo kind and i store the combo in my cell phone in case I forget it . I also like to bring about 20 feet of clothes line to hang your wet suit or other items to dry. Drying them on a line helps keep them from getting stinky, it's also good for bathing suits.

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